Updated: February 5, 2013 6:17AM
When Will Culbertson earned his Purdue degree in December, he already had mapped out his career plans.
The Purdue University North Central alumnus and communication major accepted a job with the Chicago Fire soccer team just before Commencement.
“Sports, that’s my life,” he said.
Culbertson played baseball and soccer at Westville High School. He is a loyal Cubs fan who looks forward to attending the upcoming Cubs Convention in Chicago.
He can talk about almost any sport. If someone mentions a team or sport with which he’s not familiar, he looks up the information on his ever-present phone and dives into the conversation.
At PNC, Culbertson covered sports for the student-run news organization, the Panther News Network. This proved an ideal chance to hone his craft. The network broadcast Panther athletic events live, and Culbertson did play-by-play, color commentary and interviews.
As a student, Culbertson learned and gained new experiences.
“I knew I couldn’t be a professional athlete, so I followed my dad’s advice to look for a career in sports,” he said.
Culbertson would like to become a university sports information director and, later, an athletic director.
“I’d really like to take a small program and make it a powerhouse with the best students, the best athletes and the best campus community,” he said.
In the meantime, he’ll get to know the business side of sports.
“I have big aspirations and big dreams,” he said. “I’d like to own a sports facility for youth or community sports programs. I’d really like to help grow youth sports programs.”
He might even teach.
Culbertson is energetic, ambitious and determined. He admitted he doesn’t settle for “good enough.” That is reflected in the advice he shares with students choosing a career path.
“Join clubs; get involved. You never know who you’re going to meet,” he said, noting that the Panther News Network allowed him to meet people he might not have encountered.
Culbertson also was a member of the campus chapter of Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society and took part in networking events that brought together students and professionals in communications, the media, public relations and marketing.
“PNC is a small campus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do big things,” Culbertson said.
He had some final advice for students: “When school ends — and it does end — you have to be ready for the real world. Don’t settle, don’t go through the motions; you may think you’re getting ahead the easy way, but you’re not getting ahead at all.”